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Fire Prevention: It's All About You

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The Feinstein must have payed Phil Bronstein a visit over the weekend, as today's Chronicle all but applauds her recent assertion that zoning laws should make it difficult for people to live in fire prone areas of the state. In an interesting spin on fire safety, the article seems to imply that homeowners in Berkeley, for instance, rebuilt their homes on the same lots following the Oakland-Berkeley Hills fire simply as a means of maximizing property values and, ultimately, satisfying their own greed (not— repeat not because they already owned the property or simply wanted their own damn houses and neighborhoods back). And we have numbers: the number of people living in high fire-threat areas in 22 Sierra counties increased 16 percent between 1990 and 2000! Ninety-four percent of new home development in the region also lies within the danger zone! The U.S. Forest Service spends $1 billion annually to protect these private homes! While communities area praised for having banded together to initiate and self-fund fire prevention programs— all well and good— we couldn't help but sense a little selective fear mongering in this article, coupled with a somewhat myopic view of disaster prevention (not to mention human psychology). And about the Marina ...
· Thirst for property values leaves Bay Area at risk of wildfires [SF Gate]